[slide 01]
Hi, my name is Daniel Folkinshteyn, I am a professor of finance at Rowan University, and I welcome you to Fixed Income Securities, one of the courses in the Master of Finance program.
For this course, it is assumed that you are familiar with at least undergraduate level principles of finance and statistics. This is a relatively fast paced online course, only 8 weeks, and we'll be covering roughly two chapters a week of the CFA Institute's Fixed Income Analysis text.
However, much of the material in the first couple of weeks should already be familiar to you. In the first two weeks we'll cover the qualitative basics of the fixed income markets and the fundamentals of bond valuation. You can review the rest of the plan for the course by checking out the syllabus!
Now let me mention a few things about the mechanics of the course.
[slide 02]
We will be using spreadsheets for homework problems and assignments. If you are not already familiar with spreadsheet basics, you will be by the time we are done! In this first week I will point you toward some introductory material on the use of spreadsheets.
If you already have spreadsheet software on your computer, such as Microsoft Excel, that will work. If not, there's no need to shell out major bucks for Microsoft Office - you can get free, open source spreadsheet software that works just as well for our purposes.
[slide 03]
I recommend you try LibreOffice, I personally will be using LibreOffice for all the spreadsheet work in this course. You can get it from libreoffice.org, and it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, so everyone should be able to get on board.
[slide 04]
Every week there will be one or two problem sets on the material covered, in the form of online quizzes via the Canvas learning management system. For multiple choice quizzes, you will have 2 attempts. For problem based quizzes you will have 10 attempts, and each attempt will have different automatically generated starting values.
You do not have to redo the problems that you got correct in earlier attempts. After the due date I will mesh your attempts together externally and upload the result. So for repeated attempts, you only have to work on problems you didn't yet solve correctly.
[slide 05]
For problem based quizzes, there is a margin of error of 1% of the correct result. So try not to round any intermediate results too much to avoid drifting outside the 1% window. A spreadsheet will help you with that, so you don't have to retype any numbers.
[slide 06]
There will also be some longer spreadsheet-based assignments asking you to apply what we learned in the chapters. There will be several of these throughout the course - more details are available in the syllabus and in the assignment documents.
[slide 06]
Let's talk a bit about the discussion forums in this course. The first discussion is the self-introduction, to get you guys talking and building a supportive and helpful community. In addition, every week there is a discussion about the week's assignments. As you will see in the discussion prompt, I encourage you to help each other out in figuring out the problems on these weekly discussion boards. If you are stuck on a problem, shoot out a question and see if anyone can help you out! There is a lot of knowledge to gain here, and it is more fun and more effective to do it collaboratively.
[slide 07]
I hope you will enjoy this course and learn a lot. I am here to help you, and you are here to help each other. So, let's go forth and make the best of our time together!